Town of Ghent, NY
Columbia County
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[Added 4-21-2005 by L.L. No. 3-2005]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MINING
The excavation or extraction of earth, sand, gravel, stone, quarry material, clay, loam, humus, topsoil or other earth material from a lot and removal thereof from that lot; or any temporary storage of such materials by stockpiling, or any processing of excavated or stockpiled materials, or any of the related land use activities engaged in during the above activities such as construction of buildings, barriers and other structures, clearing of property, removal or placement of trees, vegetation and earth material, or the regrading or movement of earth material within the boundaries of a single lot or subdivision.
The removal of up to 200 yards of earth material from any lot requires a permit from the Building Inspector but shall not require a special permit nor be subject to the mining overzone location requirement. The applicant shall submit relevant documentation to the Building Inspector or Zoning Enforcement Officer in connection with any such project, and if the Building Inspector or Zoning Enforcement Officer, in his sole discretion, is satisfied that no more than 200 yards of earth material will be removed from such lot, the Building Inspector or Zoning Enforcement Officer may issue a permit. If the Building Inspector or Zoning Enforcement Officer is in doubt as to the overall scope of the project or the exact amount of earth material that will be removed, the Building Inspector may deny the issuance of a permit and the applicant shall then be required to obtain a special permit from the Planning Board. There should be no fee for the permit except that, if the removal of earth material has taken place prior to the application for a permit, the fee for a permit in such instance shall be in the amount as set forth from time to time by the Town Board. The permit referenced herein shall not be applicable in connection with any lot that is part of a subdivision.
There shall be a mining overzone as shown on the Town of Ghent Mining Overzone Map in which zone mining shall be permitted by special permit subject to the regulations set forth hereafter. Mining is not permitted in any other area of or zone in the Town of Ghent unless specifically excluded from this requirement pursuant to the provisions of this section.
A. 
Exceptions to the mining overzone:
(1) 
The removal of up to 200 yards of earth material as set forth above or the regrading or moving of earth material within the boundaries of a single lot or subdivision comprising of not greater than 200 yards of material.
(2) 
In the RA1 and RA2 Zones, in connection with the construction and development of a subdivision, the excavation and removal of earth material of a total quantity that does not exceed the smaller of the following:
(a) 
A total amount of 10,000 tons or 7,500 cubic yards (whichever is less); or
(b) 
The number of tons or cubic yards computed by multiplying the total number of lots to be created by the subdivision times the amount of 500 tons or 375 cubic yards per lot (whichever is less).
(3) 
Also exempt from the mining overzone location requirement shall be the construction and development of a site plan requiring approval by the Planning Board and, in conjunction therewith, the excavation and removal of earth materials of a total quantity that does not exceed 500 tons or 375 cubic yards (whichever is less).
(4) 
Ponds: Also exempt from the mining overzone location requirement is the construction of a pond where no more than 8,000 cubic yards of material are removed from the site.
B. 
With respect to exceptions in Subsections A(2), (3) and (4) above (subdivisions, site plans and ponds), these exceptions are still subject to all other mining regulations set forth herein.
A special permit shall be required from the Planning Board for the removal of more than 200 cubic yards of earth material, whether or not a permit by the Department of Environmental Conservation is also required. Section 23-2711 of the Environmental Conservation Law requires a mining permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation where the mining activity involves removal of more than 1,000 tons or 750 cubic yards of material, whichever is less, in any 12 successive calendar months. In the latter instance, one of the conditions for obtaining a special permit from the Town of Ghent shall be the approval by the Department of Environmental Conservation of the application.
With regard to all special permits which are not subject to the applicant having to obtain a permit from DEC, the Planning Board, in granting such special permit shall consider the health, safety and welfare of the community and shall address the following issues:
A. 
Appropriate setbacks from property boundaries, public roads and/or rights-of-way. In this regard, no mining may take place within 75 feet of any property boundary nor within 200 feet from any public roadway.
B. 
The existence or creation of man-made or natural barriers designed to provide adequate screening and the type, length, height and location of same.
C. 
The control of dust; so that dust does not migrate off the site.
D. 
The hours of operation, which shall not exceed 12 hours in any one day nor commence before 7:00 a.m. on any day nor extend beyond 7:00 p.m. on any day, nor shall there be any activities conducted at the site on Sunday.
E. 
The area and depth of excavation. No excavation shall be within five feet of the existing water table.
F. 
The steepness of slopes excavated.
G. 
Adequacy of public roadways or rights-of-way providing direct access to and from the site. If an existing Town roadway is proposed to be utilized for direct access to and from the site, the Planning Board shall determine, based upon written information presented, including input from the Town Highway Superintendent and the Engineer retained by the Planning Board for the project, that the roadway is adequate to support the projected truck traffic for this project. If the Planning Board determines, based on such input and written information presented, that the roadway is not adequate to support the projected truck traffic for this project, then mining at the proposed site shall not be permitted unless suitable arrangements are made by the applicant, subject to the approval of the Town Board, to improve the Town roadway so that it is adequate to support the projected truck traffic for this project.
[Amended 5-20-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
H. 
A mining plan setting forth in reasonable detail the proposed mine site, length of operation and type and quantity of materials to be removed.
I. 
A reclamation plan to provide for restoration of the proposed site.
J. 
A reclamation bond in the amount of at least $3,000 per acre or other suitable financial security in at least such amount suitable in the discretion of the Board to ensure compliance with the reclamation plan. The reclamation bond shall remain in effect until the reclamation is completed in accordance with the requirements of the approved plan.
K. 
The applicant's plan shall provide for proper drainage of the area, both during and after the excavation.
L. 
No excavation shall interfere or alter any natural watercourse.
M. 
The Planning Board may, if it deems appropriate, direct that the applicant proceed to mine in stages and may require reasonable provisions in connection with closing and reclamation of the existing stage prior to permitting the applicant to commence mining activities in the next stage.
N. 
Upon reclamation, no sharp and declivities pits, depressions or soil erosion problems shall be created and no slopes or banks shall exceed whatever slope is necessary in order to obtain stability.
O. 
The Planning Board may require suitable fencing for enclosing the property if it deems that this is appropriate.
P. 
The applicant must demonstrate that the proposed access to and from the property will not create safety or traffic hazards, and shall provide a plan whereby trucks and other vehicles coming to and leaving from the site will utilize the most desirable routes to and from the state highway so as to minimize to the greatest extent possible such traffic passing through residential areas.
Q. 
Loading and hauling. Trucks and vehicles shall be loaded and operated so as not to spill gravel, rocks, sand or other earth materials upon the roads and highways utilized to and from the site, or otherwise impair or damage the roads or highways.
R. 
Noise and vibration. The applicant shall be required to take all measures necessary in order to reduce the noise level to the greatest extent possible. The applicant shall demonstrate that there shall be no vibration affecting properties beyond the limits of the lot.
S. 
The Planning Board may in its discretion require the applicant to submit written proof that the proposed mining is not subject to the laws and rules set forth in the New York State Mined Land Reclamation Law.
T. 
In consideration of whether the special permit should be granted, the Planning Board may also consider such criteria as it deems necessary as set forth in Article VI, Site Plan Review.
U. 
In considering whether to grant a special permit, the Planning Board shall also determine that the project meets all of the requirements set forth in the Town of Ghent Code § 190-18, General standards for the granting of a special permit.
V. 
The Planning Board may also consider such other measures reasonably necessary to mitigate any other environmental impact that may arise as a result of the mining operation.
With regard to all special permits which are subject to the applicant having to obtain a permit from DEC, the Planning Board, in granting such special permit, shall consider the health, safety and welfare of the community and shall address the following issues:
A. 
Appropriate setbacks from property boundaries, public roads and/or rights-of-way. In this regard, no mining may take place within 75 feet of any property boundary nor within 200 feet from any public roadway.
B. 
The existence or creation of man-made or natural barriers designed to provide adequate screening and the type, length, height and location of same.
C. 
The control of dust; so that dust does not migrate off the site.
D. 
The hours of operation, which shall not exceed 12 hours in any one day nor commence before 7:00 a.m. on any day nor extend beyond 7:00 p.m. on any day, nor shall there be any activities conducted at the site on Sunday.
E. 
Adequacy of public roadways or rights-of-way providing direct access to and from the site. If an existing Town roadway is proposed to be utilized for direct access to and from the site, the Planning Board shall determine, based upon written information presented, including input from the Town Highway Superintendent and the Engineer retained by the Planning Board for the project, that the roadway is adequate to support the projected truck traffic for this project. If the Planning Board determines, based on such input and written information presented, that the roadway is not adequate to support the projected truck traffic for this project, then mining at the proposed site shall not be permitted unless suitable arrangements are made by the applicant, subject to the approval of the Town Board, to improve the Town roadway so that it is adequate to support the projected truck traffic for this project.
[Amended 5-20-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
F. 
The Planning Board may require suitable fencing for enclosing the property if it deems that this is appropriate.
G. 
The applicant must demonstrate that the proposed access to and from the property will not create safety or traffic hazards and shall provide a plan whereby trucks and other vehicles coming to and leaving from the site will utilize the most desirable routes to and from the state highway so as to minimize to the greatest extent possible such traffic passing through residential areas.
H. 
Loading and hauling. Trucks and vehicles shall be loaded and operated so as not to spill gravel, rocks, sand or other earth materials upon the roads and highways utilized to and from the site, or otherwise impair or damage the roads or highways.
I. 
Noise and vibration. The applicant shall be required to take all measures necessary in order to reduce the noise level to the greatest extent possible. The applicant shall demonstrate that there shall be no vibration affecting properties beyond the limits of the lot.
J. 
In considering whether to grant a special permit, the Planning Board shall also determine that the project meets all of the requirements set forth in the Town of Ghent Code Section 190-18, General Standards for the Granting of a Special Permit.
K. 
The Planning Board may also consider such other measures reasonably necessary to mitigate any other environmental impact that may arise as a result of the mining operation.
With respect to all special permit applications where the applicant must also obtain a permit from DEC, the following rules apply:
A. 
Any conditions imposed by the Board shall be subject to the provisions of Environmental Conservation Law § 23-2711.
B. 
Upon receipt by the Town of notification of an application to DEC for a permit for mining, the application shall be referred to the Planning Board and the Planning Board shall conduct a preliminary review under § 23-2711 of the Environmental Conservation Law or its successor and shall issue its findings to the Department of Environmental Conservation within 30 days of the date of such referral was made.
C. 
In the instance where a mining permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation is required, the applicant shall submit to the Planning Board copies of all correspondence and documentation between the applicant and DEC, specifically including but not limited to the mining application, mining plan, reclamation plan, reclamation bond(s), any environmental assessment form, any environmental impact statement, any other documents required pursuant to SEQR regulations, engineering reports and renewal application(s).
D. 
At all times the applicant shall maintain a valid, in-force DEC mining permit which shall be available for inspection by the Town Building Inspector or Zoning Enforcement Officer.
E. 
At all times the applicant shall be required to operate in compliance with the DEC mining permit.
Applications for a special permit shall be submitted in writing to the Town of Ghent Planning Board. The application shall be accompanied by 10 copies of maps and plans prepared by an engineer or surveyor licensed to practice in the State of New York and showing the following:
A. 
Participants. The full names, signatures and addresses of the owner, lessee, operator and applicant and the written consent of the mortgagee, if any.
B. 
Proof of ownership of the property and the names and addresses of all parties having an interest in any entity involved as the owner or operator of the site, such as a limited liability company, corporation or limited partnership which owns or has an interest in the property.
C. 
Description of proposed operations. A statement clearly detailing the nature and extent of operations, including the type and amount of material to be filled, regraded or removed, the manner in which it will be accomplished, the proposed hours of operation, and a time schedule for the completion of the various stages of the operation.
D. 
Site plan map. A site plan map drawn to scale, prepared by an engineer or surveyor licensed to practice in the State of New York, showing all improvements on the property as well as the proposed area for mining and other improvements to be constructed in connection with the mining operation.
E. 
Boundaries of property. The boundaries of the property where the excavation is proposed and the area to be excavated, filled or regraded.
F. 
Existing contours. Existing contours in the area of operations and proposed contours after completion of the work, which contours shall be prepared from an actual field survey, shall be based on a benchmark noted and described on the map and shall be drawn to a scale of not less than 100 feet to the inch and with a contour interval not to exceed two feet. If necessary, the Planning Board may require more detailed contours.
G. 
Existing and proposed water bodies and drainage. Existing and proposed watercourses, water bodies, erosion control and drainage on the premises.
H. 
Surrounding area. Surrounding streets and property lines and names of property owners.
I. 
Natural features. Principal wooded areas, any rock outcrops and watercourses.
J. 
Existing and proposed structures. Existing and proposed structures on the premises and surrounding properties.
K. 
Proof that there are no unpaid real property taxes or assessments on the premises which are delinquent.
[Amended 5-17-2012 by L.L. No. 4-2012]
L. 
Phasing plan. Phasing plan for operations and restoration of the site.
M. 
Other. Such other maps, plans, boring tests, feasibility studies and engineering data as may be required by the Planning Board in order to determine and provide for the proper enforcement of these regulations.
N. 
State environmental quality review. The application must include an environmental assessment form and such information necessary to comply with SEQR. The application shall be subject to all SEQR laws and regulations.
A. 
The mining overzone shall not apply to the mining of shale or peat, but the special permit requirements shall be applicable.
B. 
No stockpiling of more than 200 yards of material on any lot shall be permitted for more than 60 days unless associated with an approved mining plan or unless a use permit has been obtained from the Town in connection with the operation of a business. With respect to any proposed or approved subdivision, the limitation of no stockpiling of more than 200 yards of material for more than 60 days shall apply to the entire parcel being subdivided.
C. 
Other criteria; inspection. The Town Building Inspector and/or Zoning Enforcement Officer shall have the right to inspect all or any part of the mine or mining operation at any time. If the Town Building Inspector and/or Zoning Enforcement Officer determines that there is a violation of operating conditions and/or that the mining operation is not being conducted or cannot be conducted in accordance with the plans as approved, the mining permit shall automatically become null and void, upon notification sent to the permittee by regular mail to the address given on the application. The permittee may change this address from time to time in writing submitted to the Town Building Inspector and/or Zoning Enforcement Officer.
D. 
Length of permit. The Planning Board shall determine the length of any mining permit issued; however, no mining permit shall be issued for more than five years. If it is contemplated that the mining operation will take more than five years, then the applicant shall apply to the Planning Board for renewal of the permit before the expiration of the five-year period. Upon an application for renewal, the Planning Board shall review the status of the mining operation and determine if the applicant has complied with all existing permit conditions. Renewal shall not be permitted in a case where there is any outstanding violation with respect to any permit or approval or where a required permit or approval has not been obtained or has been revoked. If the applicant is seeking any modifications or changes to the original permit or approval previously given, the Planning Board shall review any such request(s) in accordance with the provisions of this section.
E. 
Escrow account. Each applicant shall deposit with the Town of Ghent an amount of money to be determined by the Planning Board in order to cover any expenses incurred or to be incurred by the Town of Ghent in connection with the inspection of the mine or mining operation. The amount of the escrow deposit shall be determined by the Planning Board based upon the scope of the mining operation, including but not limited to the area of land involved, proposed amount of material to be removed, and length of operation. The minimum amount for such deposit shall be the sum of $500. The money in the escrow account shall be used by the Town of Ghent to pay for any experts, professionals or other personnel retained by the Town of Ghent in connection with any such inspections or reports made in connection with the mining operation.
Any special permit shall be subject to the applicant obtaining any other necessary permits required by the Town, county, state or any other regulating agency, including but not limited to permits for water control and entrances from the public highway to the site.
[Amended 11-20-2014 by L.L. No. 3-2014]
The fines for violation of the conditions set forth in the permit or for mining without having obtained the necessary permit or for the continuance of mining after the permit has expired shall be as follows:
A. 
For each day mining continues after a cease-and-desist order or violation notice is served, there should be a minimum fine of $1,000 per day and a maximum fine of $15,000 per day. The fine shall be determined by the Town Justice, who shall consider the market value of any unlawfully mined material when setting the appropriate fine, as well as any other criteria said Town Justice determines to be reasonably related to the subject violation.
With respect to mines which currently are being operated in the Town of Ghent pursuant to valid permits which have not expired, the owner of any such property shall be entitled to continue the operation of same pursuant to the provisions of a valid permit currently in effect through the time that such permit expires. Thereafter, any application for renewal of an existing valid permit shall be subject to the provisions of this law.
The Town of Ghent hereby adopts a mining overzone map which is entitled "Town of Ghent Mining Areas," prepared by Morris Associates, P.S., LLC, dated February 22, 2005 and which map is on file at the office of the Ghent Town Clerk and which map shows the area in which mining shall be permitted in the Town of Ghent by special permit subject to the laws set forth in this article.